1. That was a great game. Each team controlled the play for long stretches, and in spite of the low score, it was never boring. You REALLY have to give it up for Patrick Lalime who played a totally solid game, particularly in the first period when the score could have very easily been 3-0 in Chicago’s favor. One of the best parts of the night was seeing the bench enthusiastically congratulate him. Very charming, and very deserved. It’s fun to be happy for Patrick Lalime.
2. On Twitter before the game I was pitching a total fit about Lindy playing Lalime instead of Miller against Chicago. My reasoning for hating the decision was that Chicago is a GREAT team (more on that later), and by sticking Lalime in there, Lindy was in essence setting him up to fail. My feeling is that if the Sabres are going to get anywhere this season, the back-up MUST win a few games, so the smart move would be to play him against weaker teams. The only argument I got from the folks on twitter that made any sense to me was that if the Sabres lost, at least the points would stay in the Western Conference. I suppose that makes sense from a standings perspective, but it’s really throwing the back-up under the bus, and it could have rendered Patty totally useless for the rest of the season. What if he had been totally lit up? Wouldn’t we be in another Thibault situation where Lindy has ZERO faith in the back-up?
BUT, Lindy and Patty sure showed me. Lindy’s gamble paid off, and Lalime did the unthinkable- he played the shit out of that game. Yay, Patty! I apologize for having so little faith in you, Patty. You deserved better. I can’t wait until you play again……in February. Heh.
3. While I was squawking that Lindy should be fired and that the team should be systematically dismantled (I was kind of being an argumentative d-bag on twitter last night. These things happen. Feel free to boo me), the following conversation was had:
(Incidentally, I love Ryan for humoring me on this one. The fastest way to my heart is to totally agree with me when I start nonsensically screaming that everyone should be fired.)
You can say a lot of things about me, but I’m always true to my word. A deal’s a deal. I was so sure that the game last night was going to be a disaster with Lalime in net that I made a deal with Heather. If Patty wins, Hank gets a contract extension. So, henceforth and from now on, I will be advocating for Tallinder’s lifetime contract. Let this be a hard lesson to you all: Don’t be an ass on twitter unless you’re willing to face the tough consequences.
4. Chicago really is a threatening team. Basically the entire game I was marveling at their firepower. Every line they rolled out had me covering my eyes and screeching, “Look out for THAT GUY!” Their offensive depth is amazing, and unlike certain Eastern Conference teams (Caps), the Blackhawks defense seemed pretty darn reliable. I’m proud of the Sabres for beating them.
5. I say this only half joking- Do you think it’s the system? I was genuinely stunned to see the Sabres calmly go about their business last night without Miller in net to clean up their messes. It has seemed to me that without some serious heroics from Crunchy, the Sabres record would be quite different- but maybe we’re not giving enough credit to the conservative system that Lindy has in place.
You know who the Sabres remind me of this year? The Bruins from two seasons ago. Remember that year when the Bruins went from a non-playoff team to THE MOST FRUSTRATING TEAM IN THE UNIVERSE, and then they almost knocked out Montreal (#1 seed) in the playoffs? The Sabres are very committed to a no-frills system, and they’re just chugging along without too much flash. I think you can argue that they’re a tad boring, but who gives a rip? They’re beating good teams. Beggars can’t be choosers, and my desire for playoff hockey went from “yes, please” to “desperate begging” about 18 months ago. Keep it up, boys.
6. I’d say more about the actual game, but frankly I didn’t notice much. I was too busy booing Soupy and biting the heads off of nearby babies to pay any attention.